Delicious, versatile and beneficial on many levels

Rich in nutrients, very low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats and fiber, avocados are a valuable health ally.

Ripe avocados are great with toasted bread and eggs, in salads and burgers, or just plain with a little salt. They are also very healthy.

Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology Dr. “Avocados are not ordinary fruits,” Frank Hu tells The New York Times.

“They are nutrient-dense, very low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats and fiber.”

And it makes vegetarian meals more filling.

But let’s look at some of their benefits in more detail.

Avocados can help keep your cholesterol in check

Elizabeth Klingbeil, a nutritionist and associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin, says the best-known benefits of avocados are heart-healthy fats. Most of the fat in avocados is monounsaturated, unlike the saturated fats found in meat and dairy products.

“Saturated fat can damage blood vessels and increase the risk of heart disease,” says Klingbeil. If left unchecked, LDL or “bad” cholesterol can lead to heart attack or stroke.

While saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol, unsaturated fats can lower it. For this reason, avocados can help control blood cholesterol levels, especially when eaten in place of foods such as meat, cheese, and fat.

It can reduce the risk of heart disease

In to learn Dr. who followed more than 110,000 adults for 30 years. Hu and colleagues showed that people who ate at least two servings of avocado per week had a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease.

The researchers used statistical data to account for other factors that may have influenced the participants’ heart health. And, as he explains, it’s not possible to say with certainty that it’s avocados that directly reduce risk.

It’s true that because avocados can be great substitutes for other, less healthy foods, studies showing their health benefits may partially reflect the benefits of eliminating other foods from the diet, such as when someone consumes avocados. instead of mayo on a sandwich, or add more avocado and less beef to a burrito.

However, as Dr. Hu points out, people who eat avocados may be more inclined to eat healthily in general.

They can support the gut microbiome

Avocados are rich in fiber, which helps with both weight and gut health.

Professor of medicine and head of the clinical nutrition department at the University of California in Los Angeles, Dr. Zhaoping Li says that when gut bacteria digest fiber, they release small molecules called metabiotics that affect our overall health. Healthy bacteria can also tell our brains that we’re full, says Klingbeil.

They are rich in trace elements

The vitamin E in avocados is good for the skin, and the lutein in them helps with vision.

While bananas tend to get all the credit for their potassium content, avocados have more potassium than bananas. Potassium helps regulate high blood pressure in the body.

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